GERD - The understanding of the condition:

The most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease is heartburn (GERD). This intestinal ailment is characterized by a painful burning or squeezing sensation in the centre of the chest.

Esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is caused by stomach acid and digestive enzymes travelling back up the esophagus. Reflux describes the regurgitation of stomach contents. The esophageal lining becomes inflamed due to the stomach acids. GERD might permanently damage the esophagus if it is not treated.

The esophagus' muscular ring creates a tight connection to the stomach. The esophageal sphincter is the name for this ring. When you swallow, usually the sphincter relaxes, and food can enter the stomach. However, when it's not doing that, it squeezes tight to keep stomach contents and acid from entering the esophagus.

However, the esophageal sphincter does not close tightly in most persons with GERD. Instead, between bites, it chills out. This causes the esophagus to get irritated by stomach acid since it can enter the esophagus.

The things that can be the cause of weakness in the lower esophageal sphincter,

  • Specific types of foods
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Pregnancy
  • Consuming a lot of medications
  • High abdominal pressure
  • Swelling or bulging in the stomach

Significant signs that indicate GERD affect the body:

GERD is something that everyone can relate to. It's the sensation you get when you burp, get heartburn, or have an acidic taste in your mouth. If these symptoms persist, it's time to make an appointment with your doctor.

Additionally, other less common symptoms may point to GERD:

  • Burning or sharp pain in the chest near the chest or breastbone. This can be defined as heartburn. Heartburn can become worse while doing activities involving bending forward. 
  • Congestion in the chest can make it difficult for you to sleep.
  • The acidic fluids of the stomach flow back to your mouth, giving you a very weird aftertaste (regurgitation)
  • Nausea
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Sore throat
  • Coughing

What happens if GERD lasts for a long time?

Various complications can follow if GERD is not treated at the right time, the most common include:

Inflammation of the esophageal tissues:

Acid from the stomach can deteriorate the esophagus tissue, leading to inflammation, bleeding, and even an open sore in some instances (ulcer). Esophagitis is a painful condition that can also make it difficult to swallow. Consult a specialist for gastrology treatment in Coimbatore to avail of GERD Treatment.

Esophageal narrowing:

Scar tissue develops due to the damage that stomach acid causes to the lower esophagus. Scar tissue makes the passage of food more restricted, which causes difficulties with swallowing.

Tissue changes leading to the precancerous stage:

Acid can produce alterations in the tissue that lines the lower esophagus if allowed. These alterations have been linked to an increased risk of esophageal cancer.

Barrette's syndrome:

Barrette's syndrome occurs only in a small percentage of people, about 10%, who are dealing with long-term GERD issues. As GERD progresses, acid flows back and forth through the esophagus, which can change esophageal cells. 

GERD - Diagnostic procedures to identify:

The first step in diagnosing GERD involves determining signs with your gastrointestinal specialist. For example, gastroesophageal reflux disease specialists might recommend specific tests to assess GERD. The tests follow:

Gastrointestinal endoscopy:

An endoscope is a thin tube that is inserted through the throat. The end of the tube has a small camera and light to help visualize the esophageal cells for any abnormalities.


A small part of the esophageal tissue will be cut and examined for GERD and if the cells have changed to precancerous. 

Acid probe test:

This test helps identify the regurgitation in the stomach and esophagus in people with GERD. This test involves a small monitor and a tube that passes through the throat to your stomach.

Esophageal manometry:

Through this test, your rhythm of the muscle contractions in the esophagus that happens when you swallow food. This test is recommended for people who have issues with swallowing.

GERD: The treatment options that help you enjoy your food:

The main aim of GERD treatment:

  • To calm down the symptoms that are caused due to GERD.
  • To treat any injury that occurred to the esophagus or stomach.
  • Preventing the complications associated with GERD.
  • In balancing the daily life signs of GERD.

GERD can be a chronic disease when not managed in a proper medical way. GERD may not have any signs but can worsen after eating a meal. GERD can recur at any time in life; hence following a few tips and lifestyle changes prevents recurrence. Consult the Best Hospital for Gastrology if you are experiencing any GERD-related signs.

The treatment recommendations include the following:

Dietary and lifestyle changes:

Changing your diet and lifestyle can reduce the symptoms of GERD. Foods can increase the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), especially heartburn, but they do not cause the condition.

Position can also play a major role; most people usually complain of heartburn after lying down after meals, as gravity is vital in regulating reflux.

Prescribed medications:

In case changes in diet and lifestyle do not show any changes, the specialist might recommend medications to bring down the symptoms. Two types of medications can be recommended; one helps decrease the acid levels, and the other improves the movement in the esophagus.

Surgery for GERD:

Medications and dietary adjustments are the standard means of treating GERD. However, surgery may be the next best option if these are ineffective or you cannot take drugs for an extended period. Speak to your specialist to get a view about acid reflux surgery cost to make a decision. 

Laparoscopic surgery:

In most cases, the surgeon will do laparoscopic surgery. GERD can be treated with this minimally invasive surgery, which involves implanting a new valve mechanism at the esophageal base. Next, the surgeon ties the fundus, or upper stomach, to the esophagus or lower food pipe. By doing this, the lower esophageal sphincter is strengthened, preventing food from re-entering the esophagus.

Outlook of the condition:

The symptoms of GERD can be controlled. You may be able to reduce the severity of your GERD symptoms with a combination of lifestyle changes, including diet and sleep habits, and medication. Reach out to a gastrology doctor in Coimbatore to undergo GERD treatment.